August 12th, 2006

bear by san

If you had something to hide you should have hidden it.

I know his farm, to drive by it. "The one with all the black-eyed susans."

"Well, I've only got half an acre in flowers, but it's right by the road. The rest is hay." His hard Yankee farmer's hands clutch the stems, bundle the bouquet together.

I walked past him to get in, but he was still setting up, and I thought I would come back. So I went and bought peaches ("Those need two days on the table," she says), butter-and-sugar corn,  local mozzarella, local hard cheese (the sample is as good as a sale, and she knows it--look at her grinning when I put it in my mouth), raw milk from Jersey cows, fresh free-range eggs ("Collected this morning." "What kind of hens do you have?" "Bantams, Rhode Island Reds. Whatever walks in off the street." The eggs are all different sizes. But they're all brown, because we're in Connecticut, and nobody eats white eggs if they can help it, and over that we have a little pleased silent conspiracy.), sandwich tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes (four kinds--one named for a Gilbert and Sullivan opera, one that went all the way to Russia and came all the way back to America again. "Best tasting one we have," he says.), apple cinnamon walnut bread, "Popeye bread" (spinach, garlic), summer squash no longer than my hand, blueberries from South Glastonbury, blackberries from Tolland, the first early macs! oh I have to get those, onions ("Look at you grinning and looking at the food," she says to me, and I grin wider and say "Two red onions, please" and she also hands me a photocopied sheet with a salad recipe), and garlic ("We grow everything we sell.") and when I can barely walk, back to the man with the sunflowers.

Butter-yellow, mustard-yellow, rusty, with nodding heads. "They're not really good yet. Come back in two weeks." But he gives me what he has.

He has cosmos too, and zinnias, and some Queen Anne's Lace that I bet was a happy volunteer in his half-acre of flowers, and as he's picking out cosmos for me (bouquet bigger than my head, "I don't have a big enough vase!" and he grins and sticks another sunflower in) he shyly says "I love touching these," and strokes the feathery foliage of the cosmos, leathery and tangled and soft. "I don't have a whole row of them, but I walk down what I've got and run my fingers along them.

"Eight dollars," he says. His callused hands are half again as big as mine. He gives me the bouquet, takes my apologetic twenty, gives me change.

"A bargain at twice the price," I say, my arms full of good food, sweet flowers, the sky overhead the color of my cobalt fruit bowl. His shy smile turns into a grin that closes his eyes.

I know why he does it, that half-acre of flowers against all his hay. And I know why he plants them beside the road.

Yeah, Yankee farmers. We're on to you.

We've got a conspiracy of silence going about that, as well.

bear by san

a sword-age, a storm-age, a wolf-age, a wind-age--

Well, I opened By the Mountain Bound. Which I haven't touched since 2002, except to glance inside, cringe, and close again. Then I turned on change tracking, and edited the opening couplet:

in bondage now bides
the Wolf, till world's end


And then promptly spent an hour making a WiP icon for it. Yeah baby! That's progress!

Oh god. This is kind of a mess.

The first line can stay, though: I know the scent of fear.

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bear by san

some notes toward a restructured novel.

Well, I made it through the first two chapters of By the Mountain Bound.

Things I have noticed:

there is a deep-rooted prepositional phrase infestation in this thing. I must get a hammer and kill them all.

Muire is a stiff--a complete and utter repression case. She is all about the Matters Of Life And Death. Also, she has no sense of humor to speak of. On the other hand, her first chapter, at least, was better-written than Mingan's first chapter.

Mingan's voice really sucked, but he's probably a lot more fun at parties.

And I can fix the voice issue. In fact, I am having a lot of fun pushing him toward an Anglo-Saxon vocabulary. And sentence fragments.

Gotta figure out what to do for chapter headers on Strifbjorn's stuff, since I am no longer using the Letter From The Future schtick. Which does mean this book has the downerest downer ending in the history of Downsville.

Oh, the ANGST! *pins wrist to forehead*

I have done better since, but yanno, this is still pretty good in patches.

Still like Rannveig.

Wow, I've gotten better at this.

Only 393 more pages to go. I've already gotten 5 pages out of this thing.


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